I wanted to read Dearly Departed desperately. I longed for it. A genre defying novel, it mixes steampunkREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I wanted to read Dearly Departed desperately. I longed for it. A genre defying novel, it mixes steampunk, dystopian, zombies and romance all into one fairly large novel. I pre-ordered Dearly and as soon as Amazon delivered it I had to start it. I just wish that I had loved it as much as I wanted to.
Dearly Departed is told in three main point of views (with one surprise narrator thrown in): Nora the daughter of Victor Dearly, Bram a zombie warrior, and Pamela, Nora’s lower class best friend. Set in New Victory, the bulk of the story revolves around a war with what is believed to be the Punks, but turns out to be the Grays, an evil group of zombies. Nora is drawn into the heart of the conflict, and from there the story takes place. I know that this is a vague description, but anymore and it would be filled with spoilers.
It took me almost 300 pages before I actually started to enjoy this book, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to read this book so badly I would have given up on it in the first hundred pages. My main problem was the switching of the narrative. I usually love hearing multiple points of view, but for some reason this time it was tedious and over used. I found that sometimes I had to remind myself who was telling the story at that point, because the characters where flat and sounded the same. The only things that I absolutely loved was the risk this author took by having a zombie romance, and by defying what we know about the living dead.
Sometimes a book just doesn’t live up to the hype that you built in your head, and that’s okay. I enjoyed the ending and ultimately where the book led us, and although I may not rush out and buy the next book in the series, I will eventually read it. I hate when I don’t love a book, but overall it just wasn’t what I had hoped it would be and felt flat overall as a story.
I have to say that I started Winterborne by Augusta Blythe expecting a totally different story than theREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I have to say that I started Winterborne by Augusta Blythe expecting a totally different story than the one that I read. I expected a superhero story from the point of view of Mia, but what I got was a supernatural fey story from the point of view of Mia’s best friend, Loie. I actually think that I prefer what I read to my preconceived notion, and that rarely happens.
Loie has lived with her uncaring, semi verbally abusive grandmother since her parents died when she was younger. Loie’s parents died on the same day that her best friend Mia’s father went missing. Loie spends the majority of the time with Mia at her house, so much so that she has her own room and Mia’s mother treats her as a second child.
Loie and Mia are preparing for their seventeenth birthday when Mia will inherit the Winterborne superpower legacy. Loie is a faithful best friend and seems quite happy with her role of human sidekick. Insert Andreas, Mia’s new British next door neighbor, and the girls’ mutual crush, and things start to go wonky. There are leprechaun attacks, an army of toads and a fairy that wants to stop Mia’s powers from coming into play--along with the mystery of the death of Loie’s parents, the disappearance of Mia’s dad, and the question of who Andreas really is and what he wants--and it leads this story to a twist of an ending with a promise of sequels.
Winterborne is an indie published book. I know a few people who have had some duds and some grammatical nightmares when it comes to indie or self published books, but I have yet to pick one up that has not entertained me completely. Winterborne is no exception. It is a well developed story that is well written and extremely entertaining. Augusta has blended nicely a mix of paranormal mythology with her own mutant-like subculture. I think that this is aimed at the young adult market but would completely entertain any adult reader.
I usually stay away from period books. For some reason I have never been able to get into them. BecauseREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I usually stay away from period books. For some reason I have never been able to get into them. Because of that, I was going to pass on Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. However, I started to hear some amazing things about it, so I did a little research. Between the positive buzz and and the story being about witches, I decided to give it a try. I am very happy that I did because Born Wicked has easily become one of my favorite books.
Cate is the oldest of the three Cahill sisters, and has taken on the role of pseudo mother to her sisters. The Cahill sisters are an oddity around town. They are what society calls “blue stockings,” unusual or strange, unladylike women. Cate’s biggest worry is that the fact that they are witches will become public knowledge. If their secret is learned then the religious group, the Brotherhood, will send them away. Cate’s father decides that they need a governess to help bring them into society and teach them. The governess is a member of the Sisterhood, the female version of the Brotherhood. Cate is shocked to learn that not everyone is as they seem, and secrets are almost always exposed.
I absolutely loved this book, which was a fantastic surprise. Jessica Spotswood has written a superb debut novel. All of my worries over this being a period piece were for naught - I never once thought about it, the story just surpassed it.. This book was fantastically written. Jessica has created an alternate history that is so vivid and real that sometimes you forget that it didn’t actually happen. I love Jessica’s unique take on the Witch Trials, and the religious persecutors behind it. She created a fantastic villainous group, which almost seemed to step right out of U.S. History.
The characters are amazingly written, I felt like they came alive and right off the page. There were times that I forgot altogether that this was her debut novel. I found each character very well developed and never once did I feel like she waivered in their personalities. She captured the dynamic of the sisters’ relationship like she had lived it. Being the oldest of three brothers I can relate to the emotional dynamics of the sisters, and Jessica captured it spot on. The angst that she has created between the oldest and middle sisters was perfect. The tension was palpable through her writing.
Born Wicked was extremely hard to put down once I started. I had been in a bit of a reading funk when I started it, not being able to get into a story line, and Born Wicked pulled me out of it. This book was delightfully entertaining and engrossing. I am already anxiously awaiting book two in this series.
I’m going to attempt to control my fangirling long enough to give a coherent review of The Immortal RulREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I’m going to attempt to control my fangirling long enough to give a coherent review of The Immortal Rules. It’s going to be hard, though; you have been warned.
Okay… first I need to correct a serious misconception: This isn't a vampire story, it's a human story. It's a story about humanity’s points of pride and fatal flaws. It's a story about what it is to be ‘human.’
Set in a post-apolcalyptic world that has been nearly destroyed by a plague which created zombie-like monsters, this dystopian novel is told in such a way as to feel both current and viable. And that was a big part of the thrill of reading The Immortal Rules for me; the tone of the narrative was very realistic, making this world ruled by vampires seem possible; as if this dark, terrifying alternate existence could actually become a reality.
And within this harsh and brutal world lives our heroine, 17-year-old Allison Sekemoto. Refusing to register with the vampires and provide regular blood donations for them… and to become the vampires’ property and food, Allison lives on the fringes of society with three other unregistereds. Working together, the group scavenges to find enough food and other essentials to survive. Sometimes things become so desperate that Allison decides to take the risk of going outside the vampire city and into the surrounding ruins to search for food. This is incredibly dangerous as the vampire city is the only place that is safe from rabids, the zombie-like vampires which attack anything living. It is on one of these trips that Allison’s life is forever changed and she is forced to make the choice between dying and becoming what she hates most.
Allison is a great heroine: selfish yet compassionate; young yet mature beyond her years due to the difficulties of life in this world. Strong character development allows you to understand the growth Allison undergoes throughout the novel. You will be drawn into this story immediately, cheering for Allison, and feeling her pain at the harshness of this world. She is truly the perfect blend of good and bad, and her struggle showcases the moral of this story.
In her best book to date, and her first vampire novel, Julie Kagawa uses her amazing gift with imagery and her wildly creative imagination to build a world unlike any other I’ve read about, crafting a truly fascinating tale that will keep you turning the pages. The Immortal Rules is a new spin on the vampire story that you simply must read. I know I can’t wait to read more.